On Sunday we said goodbye to Gianluca from Italy. He wwoofed for us for three months, which makes him eligible for a 12-month visa extension.
Luca arrived while we were away in Europe. He has been a great wwoofer for us, and we have had a lot of fun together. He particularly loved Friday nights at the Goulburn Club, with its ping-pong table. More recently, he loved horse-riding, and proved to be a natural.
He was our first Italian wwoofer, and took his cultural obligations seriously. He cooked a lot of Italian food, especially for wwoofer lunches. He made great Italian bread for us. And he did his best to explain a proper Italian espresso coffee. We’re becoming quite addicted to it.
We decided to have a medieval luncheon, in one of our fancy medieval tents. Luca had a couple of mates from Sydney come down to get him, and they joined in too.
The medieval lunch was Maud’s idea: she was a long-standing wwoofer with us, and spent six months away from here, much of that in a remote truck-stop in outback Queensland. And now Maud has come to stay with us again for a few weeks. This time it counts as a visit by family, rather than as a wwoofer.
Maud loved the medieval activities, and she helped a lot with cooking this medieval lunch. Just like our huge Twelfth Night feast in January, for 200 people, where she worked hard for weeks.
I made two big chicken pies with decorated tops. One had three conjoined legs, Maud’s personal symbol (her father was born in Sicily, which uses that symbol). The other had a dragon’s head, as I’m doing on a heraldic banner for Luca — it stands for Vesuvius, the volcano next to his home town of Naples.
We had a lovely lunch and then rode the horses. Rocky the thoroughbred is back to being really well-behaved and reliable. Our other wwoofers, Rachel and Timo, have been learning to trot on him.
Jan had to have words with her horse Silvester, who didn’t want to be caught, but he’s working well once he’s saddled.
My horse Paulie has had some good days, but also some poor behaviour, especially when the wind is up. On Sunday, we had Allison’s neice Eleanor here, and Eleanor came off Paulie while he was being silly. She was sore but did get on again for some more riding.
Yesterday we had our new wwoofer arrive: Julia from Germany. Julia seems to be a highly skilled horsewoman, and she’s now sorting out Paulie very effectively. And thoroughly enjoying doing so.
This week we started planting out our spring garden beds. And we’re putting in some trees.